It’s Cold. Are My Bees Okay?

We’ve been experiencing a bit of a cold spell so the bees haven’t had many opportunities to get out and go to the restroom. While I know they were doing well before the cold snap, I always wonder if they are continuing to do well when I can’t check in on them.

Yellow Snow Dots – the Bees Are Fine

It’s tough to sit back during cold periods and just wonder if the bees are doing okay. When things do warm up for a couple of hours the bees take advantage of the warmer temps to take “cleansing flights” and relieve themselves. While they can hold their feces for quite a while at a certain point, you just gotta go. This past weekend it warmed up a bit for a short time but I wasn’t able to make it to the apiary during the time they would have been flying. When I did stop by, just as the sun was going down, from all of the yellow dots in the snow it was clear that they had been quite active with cleansing flights and were doing just fine. Remember, don’t eat yellow snow.

Image of yellow dots in the snow, evidence that the bees have been taking cleansing flights.

Yellow dots in the snow. Evidence that the bees are okay and have been taking cleansing flights.

 

Winter Oxalic Acid Vapor Treatment in the Apiary

It’s mid-January and we have had quite a long cold spell so it’s the perfect time for treating for bee colonies with Oxalic Acid vapor as brood rearing should be at a minimum. Yesterday’s temperatures were a little over 40 degrees and there was no wind — a perfect day for the vaporizer.¬†When the vapor hits the cluster a strong colony like the one in this little Nuc will roar as it fans and moves the air around. It’s nice confirmation in the wintertime that the colony is alive and strong.